Often a system owns the assets it manages, especially in the case of gray assets. However, there may be cases in which the system manages assets they do not own or neither owns nor manages assets that are serving a function for the system. As an example, a private entity may install pervious pavement in its parking lot to reduce stormwater runoff. This parking lot is owned and managed by the private entity, but it is serving a function for the system. In these cases, it is important to identify whether the assets are public or private ownership. Once ownership is established, clarity on who is responsible for maintenance along with the maintenance type must be determined.
Often green assets are not owned and/or managed by the system, such as a rain garden or a green roof. The system would still want to track the asset condition, as well as how it is maintained. It may also be beneficial to track why the infrastructure was installed, such as for a regulatory permit or as part of an incentive program.
Some systems choose to separate the asset inventory between assets they own versus assets they do not. Reasons to want to use this approach include: different modes of maintaining assets, different funding methods, or different departments needing different information. Other systems incorporate all the assets into a single, robust inventory system that allows anyone to view the information on any asset. In either case, ownership should be one of the asset attributes included in the inventory so that assets can be sorted based on this criteria.
Asset ownership can impact the ability to conduct maintenance activities, such as removing invasive species or managing vegetation on adjacent properties. In some cases, systems have offered to treat green assets on private lands to ensure the assets are properly maintained and continue to meet the desired level of service. When assets are installed, it is necessary to consider the ability to access the asset for maintenance.
Including assets that are not owned by the system is important when the asset impacts the system’s ability to meet the desired Level of Service. Systems must have the ability to track these assets within the inventory just as they do for assets they own.